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—REVIEW—

The book “Shepherd The Flock Of God” combines “greed, gambling, and extortion” in one and the same point. The reason may be that gambling first was said to be extortion, and later it was changed to greed. In the Shepherd book, greed is only connected with two actions, namely, gambling and taking too high a bride price.

In this discussion, the focus is on the three Greek words that relate to greed, namely, the verb pleonekteō, and the substantives pleonexia and pleonektēs, and the consequences of greed. First Corinthians 5:11 and 6:10 say that being a pleonektēs qualifies for disfellowshipping. The NWT13 translates this word with the expression “a greedy person.” But a greedy person does not qualify for disfellowshipping because “greed” is an emotion or inclination, a state of mind, and no one can be disfellowshipped because of their emotions, inclinations, or states of mind.

In order to understand the meaning of a Greek word, we need to look at the contexts in which it occurs. I will show that, of the three Greek words that relate to greed, only the substantive pleonexia can refer to emotions and inclinations, but this word can also refer to actions or the result of actions. The other two Greek words, the verb pleonekteō, and the substantive pleonektēs, only refer to actions.

In the Septuagint, the verb pleonekteō and the substantive pleonexia are translations of a Hebrew word meaning “dishonest gain,” and they refer to acquiring “dishonest gain” and “enrichment by violence.” In the Christian Greek Scriptures, the verb pleoneteō has the meaning “take advantage of,” “exploit,” or “cheat.”

The word that represents a disfellowshipping offense is pleonektēs. This is a verbal noun of the verb pleonekteō, and this means that the action of the verb — seeking unjust gain by exploiting or cheating—is a part of its verbal noun. The verbal noun substantivizes the meaning of the verb. The substantive pleonektēs is also a nomen agentis, an agent noun, and this indicates that it does not show what someone does but what someone is.

A person cannot be disfellowshipped if he steals something one, two, or even five times. But he can be disfellowshipped if he is permeated by stealing. The pattern of the substantives in 1 Corinthians chapters 5 and 6 that represent disfellowshipping offenses is as follows:

A kleptēs is a person permeated by thievery, an incorrigible stealer.

A methysos is a person permeated by overdrinking, an incorrigible drunkard.

A pleonektēs is a person permeated by the seeking or pursuit of dishonest gain by exploiting and cheating others, an incorrigible pursuer of dishonest gain.

The treatment of Greek and Hebrew words by the members of the Governing Body is amateurish. This is not surprising inasmuch as the members of the GB are not trained in biblical linguistics. This becomes a problem, however, when the members of the GB, quite immodestly, act as if they are experts in linguistics by creating enforceable laws based on their mistaken conclusions in connection with the meaning of certain Hebrew and Greek words. They also show that they have no idea of the principles of lexical semantics (how to find the meaning of words).

Greed is an emotion or inclination, a state of mind. And by using the verbal noun pleonektēs in 1 Corinthians 6:10 with the sense pleonexia (“greed”), Witnesses are disfellowshipped because of their emotions or inclinations, their states of mind. This is a clear violation of the Holy Scriptures.

The book for elders “Shepherd The Flock Of God” chapter 12,  points 31-34 says regarding greed, gambling, and extortion:

  1. Greed, Gambling, Extortion: (1 Cor. 5:10, 11; 6:10; 21; 1 Tim. 3:8; it-1 pp. 789, 1005-1006) Elders do not generally involve themselves in what an individual does with regard to petty gambling solely for entertainment. However, if such petty gambling affects his spirituality or becomes a cause of stumbling for others, counsel should be given. If he does not respond favorably to the counsel and his conduct continues to have a negative effect on him or others, he could not be viewed as exemplary in the congregation. (Isa 65:11; w11 3/1 pp. 12-14; w02 11/1 p. 31; g 3/15 pp. 14-15) If an individual’s gambling reveals a course of greediness, perhaps causing harm to himself or others, and he ignores repeated counsel, judicial action would be appropriate.
  2. An individual continuing in employment directly involved with gambling or employment making him a clear accomplice or promoter of gambling would be subject to judicial action, usually being allowed six months to make the needed adjustments. (lvs pp. 204-209) In questionable cases, consult the Service Department.
  3. If a business gives out prizes or prize money to winners of a contest or to potential customers for advertising, accepting the gift is an individual’s decision to make. However, a person needs to be careful that accepting such a prize does not stir up greed. —Rom. 14:21; 1 Cor. 10:31-33; w73 p. 127; g75 7/8 p. 28.
  4. A Christian who greedily and unrepentantly extorts a high bride prize may be dealt with judicially–1 Cor. 5:11, 13; 6:9, 10; Heb. 13:5; w98 9/15 pp 24-25.

WHAT DOES   “A GREEDY PERSON ” MEAN (1 Corinthians 5:11)?

Greed is defined as “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (such as money) than is needed.”[1] This definition can be applied to the tenth of the ten commandments, and I quote Exodus 20:17 (NWT13):

17  “You must not desire your fellow man’s house. You must not desire your fellow man’s wife nor his slave man nor his slave girl nor his bull nor his donkey nor anything that belongs to your fellow man.”

The word “desire” is translated from the Hebrew verb hāmad with the meaning “desire.” The Septuagint uses the Greek verb epithymeō, which also means “desire.” And according to the definition above, “greed” is “a strong or excessive desire.”

Because desiring is an abstract emotion or inclination, a state of mind, we can use the argument that the tent commandment could not have been made by humans because enforcing it would require the ability to read the thoughts of persons, and only God can do that.

According to 1 Corinthians 5:11, a pleonektēs is liable for disfellowshipping. The NIV translates this word by “greedy,” and NWT13 translates it as “greedy person.” Because “greed” is an emotion or inclination, a state of mind, just as “desire” is, only God can read the mind of a person in order to determine if he or she is a greedy person. Logically then, “a greedy person” cannot possibly be liable for disfellowshipping because no one can read his emotions and desires or his state of mind.

This shows that the translation of pleonektēs with “greedy person” is not an accurate rendering because it does not convey all the nuances of the Greek word to the readers. A much better choice is “exploiter.” The verb pleonekteō has the meaning “to exploit or cheat to get dishonest gain,” and the substantive pleonektēs is the verbal noun of the verb, where the actions of the verb are substantivized. The substantive “exploiter” is the verbal noun of the verb “to exploit,” where the actions of the verb are substantivized. Therefore is the verbal noun “exploiter” an excellent rendering of the verbal noun pleonektēs.

The meaning of pleonekteō and pleonexia in the LXX and the Christian Greek Scriptures

I start with a quotation from The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (DNTT), volume I, pages 137, 138, where the three Greek words above are discussed:

OT In the LXX the word group occurs only occasionally. It appears chiefly in the denunciations and warnings of the prophets about dishonest gain and the enrichment by violence of the politically powerful (Jer. 22:17; Ezek. 22:27; Hab. 2:9). In 2 Macc. 4:50 pleonexia refers to coveting gain by bribery. The emphasis thus falls on the ungodly and thoroughly bad character of covetousness. For that reason the person praying in Ps. 119 asks to be preserved from pleonexia (v. 36 LXX).

NT 1. In the NT the words of this group are found only in Paul, apart from the use of pleonexia in Mk. 7:22; Lk. 12:15; and 2 Pet. 2:3, 14. The action denoted by them is always judged negatively, and except in 2 Cor. 2:11 it always appears to be directed towards material gain. Thus pleonekteō (2 Cor. 7:2; 12:17 f.; 1 Thess. 4:6; 2 Cor. 2:11) means to take advantage of, wrong, defraud, or cheat. pleonektēs (1 Cor. 5:10 f.; 6:10; Eph. 5:5) means a greedy person, someone who is covetous. pleonexia (in the passages cited above and Rom. 1:29: 2 Cor. 9:5; Eph. 4:19; 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1 Thess. 2:5) means greed, avarice, covetousness, insatiableness.

The Dictionary correctly shows that the verb pleonekteō is an action verb and that it means to take advantage of or cheat.  It is also correct that the noun pleonexia has a stative meaning and that it denotes greed and covetousness. However, I take issue with the view that pleonektēs is “a greedy person, someone who is covetous.” If that was the case, a person could be disfellowshipped because of his emotions and inclinations. Moreover, the fact that pleonektēs is the verbal noun of the verb pleonekteō, it excludes the static definition of pleonektēs as well. I will show this below.

I start with the verb pleonekteō and the substantive pleonexia and their use in the LXX.

Jeremiah 22:17 (NWT13)  says:

That your heart and eyes are set only on your dishonest gain (bætsa‘).

The Hebrew substantive bætsa‘ means ”dishonest gain”, and the LXX translates bætsa‘ with the Greek word pleonexia (“greed”), and this shows that “greed” in this example is the same as dishonest gain. Thus, pleonexia in this verse is not a desire, a state of mind, but it represents the result of a desire, namely, dishonest gain.

We have a similar example in Ezekiel 22:27 (NWT13):

Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing prey; they shed blood and kill people to make dishonest gain (bātsa‘ bætsa‘).

The Hebrew text of Ezekiel has the verb bātsa‘(“make gain by violence”) expressed as an infinitive construct and the substantive bætsa‘ (“dishonest gain”) of the same root. The LXX translates the verb bātsa‘ with the 3rd person present active subjunctive of the verb pleonekteō (“to take advantage of someone, to exploit, to cheat”) and the substantive bætsa‘ with pleonexia (“greed”). Thus, we see that in the LXX, the verb pleonekteō has the meaning to acquire “dishonest gain” and “enrichment by violence,” and pleonexia has the meaning “dishonest gain.”

We find a similar situation in the Christian Greek Scriptures. And we remember that DNTT I, 139 says that: “pleonekteō means to take advantage of, wrong, defraud, or cheat.”  This is clearly seen in 1 Thessalonians 4:4-6 (NWT84)

4 that one of YOU should know how to get possession of his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in covetous sexual appetite (pathos “passion” and epithymia “lust”) such as also those nations have which do not know God; 6 that no one go to the point of harming  (hyperbainō) and encroach (pleonekteō) upon the rights of his brother in this matter.

Paul admonishes the Thessalonians not “to encroach upon the rights of his brother in this matter.” The word “encroach” has the meaning “to intrude on the rights of another person,” “to take advantage of or exploit another person.” And the reference is “in this matter.” Which natter? Every Christian has the right to live a life in sanctification and honor. If a Christian gives in to “covetous sexual appetite,” he may try to get another Christian, male or female, to have sexual relations with him, thus destroying his or her right to live a life in sanctification and honor. In this way, he would be taking advantage of or exploiting the other Christian.

We should note the use of the verb hyperbainō (“to transgress, sin against”). This indicates that the connected verb planekteō implies the act of sinning against someone. So, the verb corresponding to the substantive pleonexia (“greed”) does not point to an abstract characteristic—being greedy. But it indicates a wrong action against someone in order to get something that he or she has no right to have. Thus, the verb pleonekteō indicates wrong actions, and the verb “exploit” is a good translation of this verb. We, therefore, see that the use of pleonekteō in the Christian Greek Scriptures closely corresponds to “acquiring dishonest gain,” the meaning the word has in the LXX.

The idea of “taking advantage of someone” or “exploiting someone” is also seen in the other examples of the use of the verb pleonekteō in the Christian Greek Scriptures:

2 Corinthians 2:11

11 so that we may not be overreached (pleonekteō) [outwit us, NIV] by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his designs.

2 Corinthians 7:2

2 Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage (pleonekteō) [exploited, NIV] of no one.

2 Corinthians 12:17

 I did not take advantage (pleonekteō) [exploit, NIV]  of you through any of those whom I sent to you, did I?… Titus did not take advantage (pleonekteō) [exploit, NIV]  of you at all.

1 Thessalonians 4:6

6 No one should go beyond proper limits and take advantage [wrong, NIV]  of his brother in this matter, because Jehovah exacts punishment for all these things, just as we told you previously and also strongly warned you.

In the LXX, the verb pleonekteō occurs only two times (Ezekiel 22:27 and Habakkuk 2:9), and in both places, it refers to “acquiring unjust gain,” the result of “greed.” The verb occurs five times in the Christian Greek Scriptures, and the meaning of the verb in all of them, as seen above, is “to take advantage of,” “to exploit, ”or “to cheat.” Thus, pleonekteō never has the stative meaning of “desire,” referring to a state of mind, but always the verb refers to actions stemming from a strong desire. This also has a bearing on the meaning of the substantive pleonektēs as a disfellowshipping offense.

The meaning of pleonektēs in 1 Corinthians 5:11

The NWT13 translates 1 Corinthians 5: 11 in the following way:

11 But now I am writing you to stop keeping company with anyone called a brother who is sexually immoral or a greedy person (pleonektēs) or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man.

In order to understand the meaning of the Greek word pleonektēs, translated as “a greedy person,” we need to understand why 1 Corinthians chapters 5 and 6 uses substantive (and one substantivized adjective) and not verbs to describe those who must be disfellowshipped. Actions are expressed by verbs, but substantives show the nature of something, what something is. The substantives are verbal nouns, which means that they are derived from verbs, and the actions expressed by these verbs are substantivized by these verbal-noun substantives. Thus, a verb and it’s derived substantive expresses the same thing from two different angles. The verb expresses the actions, and the noun substantive expresses the outcome of the actions from a resultative point of view.[2]

The substantives are what we call nomen agentis (“agent nouns”). This means that a disfellowshipping offense is not an action done one, two, or even five times. The agent nouns do not show what a person does, but they show what a person is—what the person has become.

Examples are “speaker” from “speak” and “rider” from “ride.” The agent nouns may also refer to an occupation or a characteristic. For example, the Greek word alieus (“fisherman”) comes from the verb alieuō (“to fish”) and hiereus (“priest”) comes from the verb hierateuō (“to serve as a priest”). Both alieus and hiereus show what the persons are. And similarly, the words in 1 Corinthians 5:11 show what the persons are.

We may use John 12:6 as an example. The text says that Judas was a thief because he used to steal the money that was put in the money box. Thus, a thief is a person who is permeated by thievery, an incorrigible stealer. And a drunkard is a person who is permeated by overdrinking and habitual intoxication, an incorrigible tippler. Louw and Nida, A Greek-English Lexicon Based on Semantic Domains realize that the verbal nouns express the characteristics of persons, and they define the word methysos as “a person who habitually drinks too much and thus becomes a drunkard.”

Without using the term nomen agentis, The Watchtower of 1 May 1983, page 8, gives a description of the Greek word methysos (“drunkard”) that accords with the view expressed above, that the verbal nouns express the characteristics of persons:

First, it should be noted that there is a difference between being unwittingly overtaken by drinking too much on one occasion and being a drunkard—making it a practice to become intoxicated…Clearly, the Scriptures do not in any way condone drunkenness. In particular do Christian overseers have the responsibility to see to it that confirmed, unrepentant drunkards are not tolerated in the Christian congregation; they are to be disfellowshipped.

A kleptēs is a person permeated by thievery, an incorrigible stealer, and a methysos is a person permeated by overdrinking, an incorrigible drunkard. How can we use this verbal-noun pattern to fully understand the meaning of pleonektēs?

I refer to my example in connection with the tenth commandment. Because desire is a state of mind, and only God can read our minds, this commandment cannot have been made by humans. In a similar way, greed is also a state of mind, and no human can scrutinize another person’s state of mind and then disfellowship him for it. In others words, being “a greedy person” cannot possibly be a disfellowshipping offense.

The way to understand the meaning of pleonektēs simply is to consider that the word is a verbal noun of the verb pleonekteō. This means that the noun pleonektēs has the substantivized meaning of the verb. In the LXX, both the verb pleonekteō and the substantive pleonexia refer to “dishonest gain,” and in the Christian Greek Scriptures, DNTT says that the meaning of the verb is “to take advantage of, exploit, wrong, defraud, or cheat.”

So the ideas connected with pleonektēs in 1 Corinthians 5:11 are: seeking unjust gain by exploiting or cheating someone. Because pleonektēs is a nomen agentis showing what the person is, I give the following definition in keeping with the pattern of the words kleptēs (“thief”) and methysos “drunkard”: A pleonektēs a person who is permeated by the seeking or pursuit of dishonest gain by exploiting and cheating others, an incorrigible pursuer of dishonest gain. An accurate translation of pleonektēs in 1 Corinthians 5:11 would therefore be “exploiter.

To be a greedy person is not a disfellowshipping offense. A pleonektēs is a person who is permeated by the seeking or pursuit of dishonest gain by exploiting and cheating others, an incorrigible pursuer of dishonest gain. This is a disfellowshipping offense in contrast with greed which is not a disfellowshipping offense.

[1]. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/greed.

[2]. See: https://www.grammar-monster.com/glossary/verbal_nouns.htm.

THE MISTREATMENT OF THE CONCEPT  “GREED” AND “GREEDY PERSON” BY THE GOVERNING BODY

As I show in chapter 5 entitled “Disfellowshipping based on human commandments” in my book My Beloved Religion — And The Governing Body, the treatment of Greek and Hebrew words by the members of the Governing Body is amateurish. They show that they have no idea of the principles of lexical semantics—how we today can find the meaning of the words of the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek text of the Bible. This has, of course, enormous consequences for Witnesses who are disfellowshipped because of a wrong understanding of particular words in the original text of the Holy Scriptures.

A person who is a pleonektēs deserves to be disfellowshipped from the Christian congregation. But the GB misunderstands this word completely! This is clearly seen in the Shepherd book chapter 12, point 31, where we read:

If an individual’s gambling reveals a course of greediness, perhaps causing harm to himself or others, and he ignores repeated counsel, judicial action would be appropriate.

The GB does not understand the following: The word that represents a disfellowshipping offense is pleonektēs. This is a verbal noun of the verb pleonekteō—seeking unjust gain by exploiting or cheating others—and this means that the action of the verb is a part of its verbal noun. The verbal noun substantivizes the meaning of the verb. The GB does not understand this and so they treat pleonektēs with all its actions in the same way as pleonexia, which is a stative substantive without any action, with the abstract meaning of “greed.” This shows that a Witness can be disfellowshipped because of his or her emotions and inclinations, because of his or her state of mind.

For most of the early history of the organization, any form of gambling was viewed as a disfellowshipping offense. But today, gambling generally is allowed if it does not reveal “a course of greediness.” But how can the elders identify “a course of greediness,” since they cannot read the minds of individual Witnesses? In the quotation above, “greediness” is connected with the words, “causing harm to himself and others.”

Since the word “harm” is connected with gambling, this word may refer to a person who loses control of his gambling, using too much money or too much time for his gambling. But is this really an expression of greed? The answer will, in most cases, be No because addiction to gambling is a disease, as the quote below shows:

Addiction is a brain disease that forces compulsive substance use despite harmful consequences. Some things may affect our physiology in a way that makes abuse of them more likely, but everything has the capacity for addiction.

People suffering from addiction have an obsessive focus on using a certain substance or engaging in a specific activity – such as alcohol, drugs, or gambling – to the point that it takes over their life.

They keep doing, using, and abusing, even when they know it will cause problems. You know you’re addicted to something when you can’t stop doing it, even when it does more harm than good. Addicts do a thing in such a way that the cost of the activity outweighs its value.

The hallmark of addiction is the inability to keep everything back under control…

Addiction is a complex disease. No matter what you’re addicted to and what the outcome of it is, addiction is rooted in something deeper.

It’s easier to give into addictive behaviors when they alleviate loneliness. I always looked for people to drink with because I didn’t want to be alone. I stayed out drinking later than I wanted to because I didn’t want to be alone.

Although naked bodies on a digital screen are no substitute for a human embrace, pornography offered a quick stand in for human connection.[1]

I will now return to the definition of pleonektēs: “A pleonektēs is permeated by the seeking or pursuit of dishonest gain by exploiting and cheating others, an incorrigible pursuer of dishonest gain.”

Even if a Witness uses too much money and too much time for his gambling, that does not mean that he is exploiting someone, nor does it mean that he is cheating anyone for his personal gain. Only in extreme situations have we heard of examples where a person is so addicted to gambling that he is cheating others in order to get money to gamble on. But in this case, the word (kleptēs, being permeated by thievery) would be more appropriate than pleonektēs.

Chapter 12, point 33, in the Shepherd book, clearly shows the wrong use of the word “greed.” If a Witness gets money for winning a competition or from a company that is advertising for customers, he or she can accept that money. But he or she must beware of greed, and this must be greed as an emotion or inclination, as a state of mind and not “exploiting or cheating for dishonest gain,” as the above scenario simply does not allow for it.

Chapter 12, point 34, in the Shepherd book, shows that a Witness can be disfellowshipped for taking too high a bride price. This basically relates to Africa, and it is discussed in a separate article. Taking a high bride price is both an expression of greed and of extortion, according to the Shepherd book. However, I cannot see any of the elements of pleonektēs in this situation.

In several lands in Africa, a girl in a family performs different kinds of work for the family. If she marries a man and leaves her family, someone else, possibly a hired laborer, has to do the work she had done. Therefore, she represents a value for her family, and the bride price should be compensation for this value.

What would represent too high a bride price is a highly subjective viewpoint; it could be viewed differently by different people. However, even if it, somehow, could be determined that the father of the girl really did stipulate “too high” a bride price, it would hardly include any of the elements of pleonektēs. The father would not have cheated anyone and the stipulated bride price could hardly be classified as unjust gain.

However, if the Christian father knew that his daughter and a Christian brother were in love with each other, and he knew that the brother could not afford the price he demanded, he should show balance and demand a price that the prospective husband could afford to pay. If he did not do that, he would not follow the Christian way of living, and he would not be a good example for others. But we could not say of him that he is “permeated by the seeking or pursuit of dishonest gain by exploiting and cheating others, an incorrigible pursuer of dishonest gain.” Therefore, he could not rightly be disfellowshipped.

Contrary to the real meaning of pleonektēs, Witnesses have been disfellowshipped because of an abstract desire, “greed,” both in connection with the bride price and with gambling. If a Witness is disfellowshipped because he is addicted to gambling, we must keep in mind that this addiction is a brain disease, and not the result of greedy aspirations, as the quotation above shows.

In order to treat this disease, the Witness needs as much help and support from family and friends that they can provide, and perhaps also the assistance of a doctor. However, by disfellowshipping a Witness who is addicted to gambling, he is shunned, and family and friends will no longer support and help him which is, ironically, one of the primary prerequisites for healing addiction. Instead of the help and support he needs at this critical juncture, he is thrown out in total darkness, the worst possible scenario for an addict! Feeling that he has lost everything, he no longer has any hope—the only thing he feels he has left is his gambling. If a person in this very bad situation commits suicide, the members of the GB who are responsible for this situation may have blood on their hands; they may have bloodguilt.

The conclusion to this section is that the members of the GB do not understand the real meaning of pleonektēs. They do not understand that the word includes the idea of exploiting or cheating others to acquire dishonest gain and that a person must be permeated by such actions in order to be disfellowshipped.

[1]. https://gamequitters.com/underlying-causes-of-addiction/

CONCLUSION

The basic problem with “greed” as a disfellowshipping offense is that the members of the Governing Body do not understand the principles of lexical semantics, how the meaning of a Greek word can be found. And the lack of modesty on the part of the members of the GB—not recognizing their limitations in the area of lexical semantics—has led to the creation of many Scripturally unsanctioned disfellowshipping offenses. Like the proverbial “bull in a china shop,” the members of the GB, apparently quite oblivious to the destruction they are leaving in their wake, continue to trudge ahead trampling on Christian freedom by creating ever newer disfellowshipping offenses. These manmade disfellowshipping offenses, all based on the GB’s ignorance of the principles of lexical semantics, are needlessly destroying the delicate spirit and lives of many of Jehovah’s sheep who may have strayed, but who need assistance instead of the unbiblical practice of shunning.

The important Greek word in this discussion is pleonektēs. This is a verbal noun of the verb pleonekteō. When we compare the use of this word in the Septuagint and the Christian Greek Scriptures, we find that its meaning is “to seek unjust gain by exploiting or cheating someone. A verbal noun has the same meaning as the verb it is derived from, but this meaning is substantivized, which means that the meaning of the verb is attached to a person or thing.

In 1 Corinthians 5:11 and 6:10, pleonektēs refers to a person who deserves to be disfellowshipped. So, the actions of the verb pleonekteō have now become an integral part of the personality or characteristic of the person who deserves to be disfellowshipped. Therefore, the definition of pleonektēs is: “A pleonektēs is permeated by the seeking or pursuit of dishonest gain by exploiting and cheating others, an incorrigible pursuer of dishonest gain.”

The members of the GB do not understand that the verbal noun pleonektēs expresses the same actions as the verb pleonekteō. But they treat pleonektēs as if the noun has the same static meaning a pleonexia, whose meaning is “greed,” a broad abstract concept. The consequence of this incompetence and mishandling of the Greek word pleonektēs is that Witnesses are disfellowshipped because of their emotions and inclinations, their state of mind. This is a clear violation of the Holy Scriptures.

An accurate translation of pleonektēs in 1 Corinthians 5:11  and 6:10 would be “exploiters” instead of “greedy persons.”

Rolf Furuli

Author Rolf Furuli

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